With less than a month remaining before the 2012 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri, Bill Tomlinson confirmed that he will be entering My Way, his turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran, in the 24th annual top-speed event to defend his Top Gun title.
"Our plan is to go—our rooms and transportation are confirmed—but nothing is ever 100 percent as you know," Tomlinson said in a phone interview this morning. "We had a great time at last year's event, which is put on by a real good bunch of people. The boat was well received and it was beautiful out there."
Last year, Tomlinson and throttleman Ken Kehoe ran the boat eight times and recorded a course-record-tying top speed of 208 mph, although Tomlinson said, according to the boat's GPS, it was around 215 mph when My Way hit the radar trap one mile from the start.
When asked about his goal for this year's Shootout, Tomlinson, who lives in Ottawa, Canada, said he'd be very disappointed if it wasn't something over 215 mph.
"Hopefully they get the radar situation worked out this year," said Tomlinson, who believes that the higher radar gun placement on the Captain Ron's course compared to the old course in front of Shooters 21 doesn't allow them to accurately record the boat speeds at the end of the run. "I'd like to be able to make one run on Saturday and one run on Sunday and not have to do it eight times again.
Captain Ron's owner Ron Duggan, who oversees the event on the restaurant's property, has purchased new radar equipment and vows to get the most accurate readings as possible this year.
There was speculation that Tomlinson might not come to the event after reports swirled of his boat spinning out during a recent poker run in Alexandria Bay, N.Y. Tomlinson confirmed the incident, which he said happened around 180 mph and included two complete spins. Fortunately there was no damage to the boat, although the spin did create some issues with the fuel tanks.